Son’s talk in Rye will reveal insight into father’s post-war role

Richard Harrison by a Mosquito aircraft
Richard Harrison by a Mosquito aircraft

An author will be giving an insight into his father’s role as an RAF medical officer in occupied Germany immediately after the war.

Peter Harrison, from Northiam, recently published his book, The Medical Officer’s Diary RAF Lüneburg 1947.

It all came about after his late father, Richard, who died in December 2009, left hundreds of photographs and memorabilia charting his life in occupied Germany in 1947.

After several house clearances, it was in 2013 that a box containing more than 100 envelopes was discovered, which contained monochrome negatives, the majority of which were never printed.

The negatives contained 600 images of life in Germany immediately after the war.

Photographs include streets in a bombed out Berlin and abandoned aircraft.

The corresponding diaries for 1947 were discovered by Peter’s brother, Richard in his attic in Bristol.

Their father was only 17 when war broke out in September 1939.

He had already secured a place at Bart’s Medical School but was evacuated to Cambridge during the war before qualifying as a doctor in 1944, starting his surgical career towards the end of hostilities.

His wife Joyce, who lives in Brede, was a BBC broadcasting assistant and participated in the VJ broadcast in August 1945.

The RAF medical officer’s letters and diaries include descriptions of travelling within occupied Germany and the black market purchase of surgical instruments.

After leaving RAF Lüneburg, Richard returned to London. He later worked at the Royal Sea Bathing Hospital in Margate, practising tuberculosis treatment, before going to the Royal Free Hospital in London.

His son will be holding an illustrated talk with exhibits from 6pm at The Rye Bookshop in the High Street on Wednesday, September 20, as well as signing copies of his book.

Peter published his book in spring this year and since then has been holding illustrated talks at bookshops, societies and museums.

To book a place at the upcoming event, ring The Rye Bookshop on 01797 227442.

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